Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Operation Holiday Glam

Every year my husband's company holds a holiday party and every year I find myself down at Marshalls or TJ Maxx desperately trying on dresses. In my early 30s when I was single and had a corporate career, I owned a closet full of party dresses. Now my closet is filled with jeans, stripey t-shirts and a whole lot of wool sweaters--clothing befitting of a suburban stay-at-home mom. Glamour gets short shrift at Casa HailBritannia. :-/

Last year a few of the women dressed to the nines: gowns! Sequins! Cleavage! By comparison I felt under-dressed in my sweater dress, tights, and boots. I made a vow that night for holiday party 2013, I'd dress in something a little more glam.

The original plan involved silk Shantung and a vintage 50s ballgown pattern, but I've had to scale back Operation Holiday Glam as I recover from my herniated disc. I've always wanted a long, swishy taffeta skirt, and since a skirt is fairly easy to make, plans have been modified. I had a Living Social gift certificate for Fabric Place Basement in Natick, so last week I braved the chill and pre-holiday shoppers so I could get a small jump on things.

It took me two hours of walking around the huge, cavernous store to decide. I really wanted a tartan plaid, but come on--that's not glam, that's just giving in to my Anglophilia. Then I fell in love with some gold double-weight silk charmeuse...until I saw the $49.99 a yard price tag. Yikes!

fabric for holiday skirt

I finally settled on three yards of iridescent gold/green taffeta. It's not silk but the fabric manager promised me it sews "like cotton." I even had enough money on my gift certificate to buy some gorgeous dark green Bemberg rayon to line the camel windowpane plaid wool cape I'm know, so I can look like a female Sherlock Holmes out on my bike. ;-)

The plan is to make the skirt over the next week -- I'm pretty sure I can do it without a pattern. (Pattern? Who needs a pattern!?!) I'm thinking gentle gathers with a waistband--not too poofy--with a matching sash to tie around. I might even be able to get away with an elastic waistband, especially if I go with the sash.

As for the top, I have an Anne Fontaine blouse (white, of course) I bought in Paris: it's pretty but a wee staid. So now I'm wondering if I have time to whip up a simple short-sleeved sweater out of something like Rowan Kid Silk Haze? Perhaps the wiser course of action is to look for an angora sweater I can buy off the rack before my 2014 ready-to-wear clothing fast begins.




  1. Thank you, Jan. And guess what? I just found the perfect sweater to go with it. Can't wait to show the completed outfit. :)

  2. Excellent news!! I look forward to seeing it.


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